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I had to come back did n’t I. This time we planned for our destination to be the  Aviation Heritage Museum in Blenheim as neither of us had seen it. Very worthwhile  and the people behind the concept (including Sir Peter Jackson) are planning to extend the museum. Blenheim is always a great destination; a small city but with everything you need, wineries galore and sun (although we did experience some rain as well and it was welcomed by the locals).

The flexibility of adventuring by light aircraft was really brought home to me this time. When we met at the aerodrome I suggested to John that we should stop at Parakai airstrip in Helensville for elevenses with my farming friends.


Dianne and Richard Kidd took us back to  their amazing farmhouse on the hill for a scrumptious rural morning tea.


We were able to return the favour by taking aerial photos of the homestead on departure.

Approach to Wanganui

From Parakai we followed the west coast as far as Raglan then flew inland to Wanganui to refuel both the aircraft and ourselves.

Moving Map Cook Straight

After lunch we followed the coast to Wellington where we crossed the Cook Straight and followed the East coast of the South Island to Omaka - home of the aviation museum.

We had booked 2 nights at Ugg manor to give us a chance to see the museum and other attractions at leisure.  The Landlady picked us up from the airport and made us welcome.

Ugg Manor

The next day we hired a car and took a drive to a winery - or two - and ordered cases of wine to be delivered - too heavy for our aircraft.

Hot work and an ice cream was in order

The plan - such as it was for day 3 -was to enjoy the aircraft museum in the morning and then fly to Hastings for a dinner date.

The aircraft museum was great but the skies opened and after visiting the nearby motor museum we gave up on flying for the day and scrounged a lift into town to find a motel and a Chinese dinner.

The forecast  showed bad weather between us and Hastings again - so much for a dinner date.  Our best bet was to route via the South and West coast of the North Island to Raglan.


Wind farm on the South coast of the North Island near Wellington

Parapramu Approach

On the return journey from Blenheim I decided that I wanted to catch up with a mate in Paraparaumu so down we went for an unplanned highly social breakfast.

Parapramu Aerodrome

Breakfast sorted we went to Raglan and walked into town for lunch.

Raglan Aerodrome

We got lucky with the weather and were able to route direct to great Barrier Island from Raglan

Wiltshire Manor

The final night was spent in the Wiltshire Manor on Great Barrier Island and dinner taken in the city centre.

Great Barrier town

Light aircraft is certainly the way to experience this magic part of New Zealand. A short journey but wherever we landed the people we met enthused over this novel way of having fun. If you are lucky enough to have the time and the money then I recommend a flying adventure with John.

Want to talk?  John Nicholls   flyitnz@gmail.com or telephone Land line: +64 (0) 9 406 1974  mobile +64 (0) 27-359 4869 Skype:Flyitnz